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Demand increases for long-term care workers “Blackburn News, January 22, 2019”

Posted: January 22, 2019

(From left to right) Lynne Withers, Julie Sexton and Shirley Roebuck at the Coffee Lodge on Exmouth Street in Sarnia. January 21, 2019. (Photo by Colin Gowdy, BlackburnNews)

The Sarnia Lambton Health Coalition is taking part in a province-wide initiative to improve care and reduce violence at long-term care homes.

A report released Monday by the Ontario Health Coalition indicates a rising rate of homicides in LTC homes across the province.

A local registered nurse who’s worked at a Sarnia long-term care facility for over 20 years said shes seen a definite increase in the need for more workers during her career.

Julie Sexton said the workloads for RNs, PSWs and other in long-term care facilities have continued to rise.

“Having more eyes and ears on the floor would allow staff to potentially see problems before they occur,” said Sexton. “PSWs are the front line staff, so if the notice something that’s maybe peculiar or a little bit different, say from yesterday, when they have the time they can let us know.”

She said the number of staff hasn’t changed over that time, but the needs of patients have gotten more complex.

Sexton said this is because a number of their patients with more severe issues would’ve have been sent to the hospital instead of a long term care home in past years.